Emily Sacra {the blog} »

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Living colorfully

Last Wednesday, DJ and I were talking about how ‘boring’ our lives were, compared to other teenagers. Meaning, we don’t really do all the ‘crazy, stupid, and immature’ things that it seems a lot of other people our age do ;) I’ll be 18 in 2 days, and DJ will be 18 in 6 days, and we were honestly feeling slightly panicked because we only had a few days left to be typical teenagers ;) So, we decided that Saturday {yesterday} would be our EPIC TEENAGE REBELLION DAY. Which kind of failed, but hey, it’s the thought that counts. I mean, we had great plans. Road tripping across the country {in one day, mind you}, eating Kline’s ice cream {woooo living on the edge eating that dairy!}, jumping in the bouncy ball container at Walmart {sounds fun, but I’m pretty sure we’d be thrown in jail.}, burning something {because that sounds like something a typical teenager would do}, and possibly even sleep in a public place. Because we’re exciting like that. However, Saturday morning dawned cloudy and rainy. So we spent the day dodging bullets {ok, just raindrops}, eating Mexican food {even though what we really wanted was Chinese. But hey, typical teenagers can’t pay $14 for some beef & broccoli takeout ok}, and watching Frozen {in which DJ fell asleep halfway through so she STILL DOESN’T KNOW WHY THE WORLD HATES HANS} at midnight while indulging in Cookie Monster ice cream in sugar cones. So it was more of a “we’re too old to be doing all this stuff” day than a “YAY WE’RE ONLY TEENAGERS FOR A FEW MORE DAYS SO LET’S LIVE LIFEEEEEE” day. Apparently, we’re just too responsible to be teenagers. So it’s a good thing that in 2 & 6 days we’ll be official adults.

One thing that we did manage to get done was play MESSY TWISTER. And yes, it was even more fun than it sounds!! It was raining slightly, and SUPER cloudy/foggy, so the pictures didn’t come out fabulouslybut it was still so much fun and we made lots of memories :) The sheet was pointing slightly downhill, and adding rain + paint made for a very slippery experience! Haha!!

We were being so careful to keep the paint in the circles, but really they all started running together after a few seconds! It is SO hard to not slip on this!!

DJ’s all like “is it time to go yet” and I’m all “LET’S DO THIS” ;)

I included this one because obviously… I mean, it cracks me up ;)

Olivia - How fun! ;)

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I guess the snow was good for something after all

Even though I’m totally and completely done with snow, I am thankful for the last snow we got because it gave us lots of green grass!! Ahhhh, I’ve been waiting for this green grass for forever!!

Aaaand the trees are finally starting to bud again, which makes me incredibly happy :)

Joelle and I took pictures in Lowe’s today… We’re so crazy! Haha!

Nothing like doing a little modeling in a home improvement store.

Then we went to Arby’s for supper, where I decided to splurge and get a mint milkshake. Bad. Decision.

And then we picked up Oliver and went to the park!

Emily Ruth - You and Joelle look like you had lots of fun. I wish we had some green. In Maine, we’re supposed to get some snow this week. :(

MargaretAnn - These are so great! All the pictures of swings make me want to go swinging…

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Two more years of progress

Making my ‘how far I’ve come’ post way back in March 2012 was so much fun, and I decided to do it again!! It’s a good time for it, because it’s been almost exactly 2 years since that post. I think it’s always a good idea to look through past photos to see what you’ve accomplished! And I’m a sentimental person like that, so you know I love posts like these :) I’m picking up right where I left off! In the middle of March 2012:

Joelle and I did a photoshoot with balloons and cream soda {not beer ;)}

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I took some pictures of Kate under the red bud arch in the pouring rain. I wasn’t too happy with these, but didn’t really know how to fix them.

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Since it was finally spring, I busied myself with taking lots of pictures of all the gorgeous trees around our property! I still love the one in the middle!

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Joelle continued to be my main model… ;)

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April 2012

I did a newborn shoot, and I mean, they were ok. I just honestly don’t love doing newborn shoots!

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I had a family shoot, and honestly had no idea what I was doing with editing. I was seriously all over the place!!

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I began understanding how exactly the light effects my pictures…

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Did a different kind of newborn shoot for a sweet friend of mine… I obviously really backslided on learning about light here! Haha! This is NOT the right way to get full-sun pictures!!

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The picture on the left is the original edit I did, and the one on the right is an edit I did a couple days ago. I really love bright photos, but I really think the brightness needs to match up with the temperature, and in the case of the left photo is certainly doesn’t!

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May 2012

This was my first engagement shoot, and I was so super nervous about it!! The pictures came out better than I had expected them too, but looking back now I see so many things I would have done differently! I was extremely concerned about getting them out of focus, or have the wrong light, or something else like that… I wish I had experimented more and trusted myself!

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We went to the zoo for Kate’s birthday, and I loved capturing all the different animals!

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Lots more Chick Fil A events…

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A very dear friend of mine wanted some pictures of her and her girls, so I used her Nikon D3 to get these shots! I was so incredibly proud of them!! This only fueled my obsession over the Nikon D3 ;)

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Back to my Canon 30D, I had a family shoot. I didn’t {and still don’t!} really care for family shoots, but hey, that’s what I was getting at the time, so why not rock it? ;) I tried my best to get amazing shots, but I was perpetually stuck in my “I need a Nikon D3 or I’m not gonna be any good” rut. It was a bad rut to be in, and I didn’t experiment with my current camera as much as I should have! 

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June 2012

This was in my “ooooh let’s edit things dark and cool!” and “it’s not a good photo unless you airbrush the crap out of it” phase ;)

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I started looking more at the backgrounds temperature, but not paying close enough attention to my subjects skin tone… BAD mistake! Haha! Jenny looks kind of like a ghost here ;) 

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I thought this was a happy accident!! When in reality it’s just because I got the light right ;)

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I got to borrow that gorgeous Nikon D3 and basically drooled over it all day ;)

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These were taken the with D3, and I loved them! The clarity and color tone was perfect!

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Shot some baseball games, and actually got interested in baseball! 

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I rented a Canon 7D for a proposal/engagement party. My Canon 30D had recently been shutting off randomly, and decided I couldn’t risk it at the proposal!!

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July 2012

Photographed another July 4th event, this time with the Canon 7D.

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Aaaaand another newborn shoot. Seemed like everything I was shooting were families, children, and newborns… The three things I did not want to specialize in ;) But I pressed on because I knew I had to do them, plus I just love photographing anything. I knew I’d do whatever it took to get me where I wanted to go!! And looking back now, I’m so glad I did. Even if I wasn’t shooting the engagements and weddings like I wanted to, I was not ready, and doing all those other shoots helped me to grow as a photographer! So if you’re a photographer and feel like you’re stuck in a rut, just keep pressing on!! It will 100% help you in the long run if you just shoot anything and everything you can get your hands on. Shooting engagements and weddings isn’t just about knowing how to pose people {which is what I thought back then}, it’s even more importantly about learning how to shoot in the the right light, and extreme conditions!! I’m not shooting many weddings this year, but you know what? I’m thankful to be right where I am, which is preparing for that couple’s special day!

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I met a very sweet lady to teach her more about her Canon Rebel! It was SO much fun sharing all that I’ve learned, and I found that teaching others about photography is one of my passions!

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I took this photo of Jenny The Riveter, and I loved it! So did all her Facebook friends ;) I was just so impressed with myself with being able to turn the background from gray to yellow :)

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August 2012

This was basically the first time I hung out with my now best friend, and we did a photoshoot! Again, my editing was all over the place and I had no clue what I was doing {but at the time I thought I was doing great ;)}

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Took some pictures at the county fair, and did my best to find the right light! I was finally getting it! It’s like something clicked in my head, and I was like “ohhh, that’s what good light is!” ;)

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Joelle’s 2nd grade pictures! I was starting to get the hang of Lightroom as well, and how to edit to compliment my images, not overpower them!

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September 2012

I bought a new lens, the 18-135. I figured it’d be a good idea to have a wide angle in my collection, and it sure did come in handy!

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This shoot with DJ was pretty hard, because it was raining as well as almost dark! I really relied on Lightroom4’s noise reduction for these ;)

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I borrowed a Nikon D3 again to shoot this engagement, and at the time I loved the color! However, looking back I can see that I was blinded by great difference in my low-end camera to this high-end camera. Although these photos are technically correct, they are not the style I was looking for, but wasn’t sure of at the time.

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October 2012

Another engagement shoot! These were shot with my Canon 30D again, and I was literally determined to challenge myself and get amazing shots with my low-end camera! I honestly had to prove it to myself that I could do it without that Nikon D3. And I did! I was super proud of these. I see myself getting closer to the style I wanted {clean, bright, and warm!}, plus I was happy with how my full-sun portraits turned out. They are hard! :)

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When I didn’t have a photoshoot, I was forcing Joelle to model for me… Not much has changed in that department ;)

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So wish I had gotten this in focus! I was still working through learning exactly how the settings affected my pictures. I was getting so much better, but still had a little ways to go.

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November 2012

This family shoot was too adorable!! I loved their outfits and the warm light! I was back a little bit in the editing ‘darker’ phase, but it never really made me happy.

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December 2012

Loving lifestyle shoots with my family! This is from when we got our Christmas tree.

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I shot my first wedding on my own! I shot it with my Canon 30D, to prove once again to myself that I could do it. I was really happy with how these turned out! I definitely see some issues with them now, but that is mostly due to the equipment I had. Gosh, you mean LENSES affect the photos too?? ;)

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Shot a baby announcement! It was crazy windy, and extremely dull and gray. But under the circumstances, they turned out well.

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I subconsciously loved the CLEAN and BRIGHT colors in this one! Still one of my favorites of her!

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January 2013

January was pretty slow, but that was to be expected! Shot some more of Kathryn, and got stuck in a bit of a rut {like I do every year around this time!}.

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February 2013

Again, not much happened in February. I shot a birthday party in Chick Fil A, which meant COLOR CASTS EVERYWHERE and HELP ME I DON’T KNOW HOW TO FIX THEM!!

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March 2013

Oh Emily… You keep getting sucked back into the ‘editing dark’ phase! It’s actually harder to do than I originally thought, because with my Canon 30D I had to underexpose a little bit, so bringing up the exposure even a tiny bit made it look worlds better, so I just never pushed myself to go even further.

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I bought a Nikon D3!! My dream had come true!! On the right is the first shot I ever took with it. And here we being with the technically correct photos and trying to find my style! Yay!!

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These photos of Joelle were surprisingly hard to edit… But I brushed it off saying that it was user error.

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Took this shot of dad in Arby’s and loved it! Haha! It’s still one of my favorites, because it captures him perfectly :) Isn’t that what photography is all about?

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These. These were SO hard to edit. And I had no idea why. Cue many many tears shed over this shoot. The final outcome wasn’t bad, but oh-I knew they could be better. What on earth was wrong with this camera??

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I still LOVE these pictures of Jenny, but holy canoli the EDITING ISSUES!! It look forever to edit each image the way it needed to be to look right. There were color casts everywhere, and I honestly didn’t understand. 

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This one is still one of my favorites of her! Like I said, the final outcome was great, but the amount of effort it took to get there was insane.

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I bought an Epiphanie bag! I had been drooling over these bags for at least 3 years, and finally got it! I still love it, however I’ll need to get a smaller bag soon. It’s great for hauling all my equipment, but not very practical for lifestyle shoots with my family.

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April 2013

My best friend’s birthday! 

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Shot my second wedding! It was all inside, and the bride and groom didn’t want portraits together, so I didn’t get the kind of shots I had wanted to. However, it was still a great experience!

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I did a cake smash shoot, which I loved! Still really happy with how these turned out, except I’d brighten them up a bit {don’t be afraid of that exposure slider, Emily!! ;)}

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The light was so scrumdiddy-umptious that night!!

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I met with a friend of mine who had just purchased a Canon 5D Mark III, and I tried his out. Oh. My. Gosh. It was perfect. I knew as soon as I picked it up that this was it. Not the Nikon D3, the Canon 5D Mark III. The image on the left is with the Canon 5D Mark III, and the one on the right is with the Nikon D3. I was having to many editing troubles with the Nikon D3, it was just so not worth it. So I started the process of selling my Nikon D3 and buying the Canon 5D Mark III!

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Circus time! The lens I was using decided that it didn’t want to autofocus anymore, so I shot the whole thing on manual focus! Haha! It was certainly an adventure ;)

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Still lots of Chick Fil A events…

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My third wedding! I loved shooting this one! I learned so much, and it was an amazing experience!!

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May 2013

My Canon 5D Mark III came in!! I was ecstatic! It was a different feeling from when I got my Nikon D3. I just knew it was right. In between selling my Nikon D3 and buying the Canon 5D Mark III I was so nervous… Because am I doing the right thing?? But as soon as I picked up my beautiful new camera, I 100% knew that it was right. It was like, made to be an extension of my hand or something ;)

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My camera arrived on Kate’s birthday, and we right away headed out for a photoshoot! I almost cried when I saw these!! And not frustrated tears, like with my Nikon D3 ;)

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Brother & Sister shoot! This was something very new to me, but I took the challenge head-on!  

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Another newborn… I loved the more ‘lifestyle’ images of her and daddy outside!

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A photoshoot for some young violinists!

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I was in contact with this author for about a year before this shoot, discussing the perfect images for his new book! This was certainly a hard photoshoot, and one that challenged me!! I’m so glad I had the chance to do it! It was a GREAT experience!

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PROM with my bestie!! Ooooh, would you look at that light?? By George, I think I’m getting it!! ;)

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June 2013

We went to the beach as a family, and although these aren’t client images, these are some of my favorites from the entire year. Sometimes I just go back and look through that post because I love them SO much! I captured the colors exactly the way I wanted to, and they make me so happy!!

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Another family shoot! I learned the art of ‘stalling’ with my clients when it was too bright outside and I needed to wait for the right golden light ;)

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I really struggled with skin tones in this shoot! Here’s a shocker: the light affects skin tones too! Huh! Who would have thought? ;)

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Another Chick Fil A shoot! I loved shooting Cruise-In’s, because of the gorgeous evening light!

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July 2013

Discovered I really loved bringing my camera with me whenever I was doing random, little things! It’s always totally worth the stares I get ;)

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Another engagement shoot! Not my normal engagement shoot because they wanted more conservative poses. But it was great to be pushed outside my comfort zone!

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A newborn shoot with sweet little Jonas! He’s such an amazing little guy, and the happiest baby ever!!

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August 2013

Chick Fil A shoots out the whaz ;)

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Another shoot that pushed me out of my comfort zone!! This was with two best friends, and although challenging, it was amazing! I loved these pictures! I learned how to shoot with the weather, not against it!

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Joelle’s 3rd grade portraits! I had my senior portraits done by THE Katelyn James about a week before this, and I cannot tell you how much that has helped my business!! I learned SO much about posing, and to be completely honest, it’s like my fear of shooting completely vanished. I was totally at ease with posing and making my clients feel comfortable!

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September 2013

Around this time, Joelle became a little model!! Now she loves posing for me! 

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First senior shoot of 2013! This sweet girl was great at reppin’ my name at her high school, and I got lots of clients through her!

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Second senior shoot! I absolutely adored this shoot!! The light was to die for, and isn’t he just so cool looking? 

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I made a major business investment, and ordered a 15″ Macbook Pro! I’m still in love with it!! 

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October 2013

Another Chick Fil A shoot… It’s hard to not get color casts in Chick Fil A, with all the fluorescent lights, but I’ve grown in leaps and bounds from when I first started there!!

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Third senior! By now I’d really found my style in posing as well as editing!! Although I love shooting seniors, it still doesn’t outweigh my love for weddings! :)

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Remember that sweet little newborn? His parents decided to have monthly photos done of him, and I’ve loved getting to see him every month! He is SUCH a sweetheart, and never cries, not matter how crazy we get with our ideas! ;)

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November 2013

Joelle had an American Girl doll themed birthday party, and I shot the details like I was at a wedding. See? Even shooting little stuff prepares you for THE REAL DEAL ;)

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Fourth senior! We got these riiiiight before the fall colors disappeared! That perfect golden light was absent for most of the shoot, but I’d learned a lot about making the best of every situation!

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Fifth senior!! My fall was just bursting with them, and I loved it!! 

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Challenging myself to shoot at f/1.4!

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December 2013

Started shooting baptisms at my church… Now THESE are HARD!! They’re in a pitch black space, and my only saving grace is the speedlight I rent for these! I was so thankful when I saw that stage light behind my subjects, which gave me an awesome rim lighting!!

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More of Jonas! He was not feeling our original plan of sitting in a sleigh, so we made do with what we had! :)

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Joelle and I continued a 2-year series, and I loved these shots of her! The light was amazing for it being the dead of winter!!

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I met sweet Meredith, and had a great time ‘shooting’ her ;)

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January 2014

I found I had a little bit of an interest in food photography… Not enough to make me stop shooting weddings, of course, but just enough to push me through these long winter months!! Plus it gives me an excuse to make all sorts of tasty treats ;)

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Had another shoot with DJ! I honestly love challenging myself with new poses and ideas!

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A super quick shoot with Kathryn in the snow!! It was absolutely freezing that day!

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Jonas as The Hungry Caterpillar :)

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Met with Meredith again! It’s SO good finding friends who share my love of photography :)

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February 2014

More baptisms!

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And more food ;) For real though, these cookies are the bomb.com. Most amazing things ever.

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March 2014

Took my favorite portraits of Kate and Jenny EVER! We may or may not have gotten frostbite in the 20 minutes we were outside, but I think they’d both agree that it was totally worth it ;) The picture of Jenny farthest to the left is one of my favorite portraits ever! It’s exactly what I wanted to get :)

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Oh, Jonas… You’re such a ham ;)

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I experimented a bit with double exposures in-camera! Finding new ways to further my knowledge of photography makes me so happy :)

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Two years of progress:

Whew… This is quite the post! Haha! If you’d like to see the first 4 years of this amazing journey, click here! I’m so super proud of the progress I’ve made, and I’m also so thankful for all of you who read my blog :) I love you all!! I smile at every single comment!

Meredith - What a cool post!! Loved seeing the progression and improvements!!!

Emily Ruth - I loved looking through your progress over the past couple of years. You’ve definitely improved, and I love your recent photos.

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Springing for joy

Ya know, it’s been a while since I’ve used a really cheesy title for a blog post, so I figured it’s about time, amiright?

TODAY IS THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING PRAISE THE LORD SING HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!! Joelle and I tried to hit the golden hour, which was super hard with the winter light fading super fast! But we got some adorable shots! I love this outfit on her!

Oh my word, it’s been forever since I’ve had LIGHT in my pictures!! So excited for more this spring!!

Isn’t her outfit just absolutely adorable??

Top: JCP // Jeans: American Eagle // Shoes: Rack Room Shoes // Bag: Target

Aren’t I attractive? ;)

What did you do on this first day of spring? :)

marcia - i swear, joelle is gonna be a model someday. and her outfit is too adorable. and your self portraits are stunning. teach me your ways.

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